Meridian cemetery wants more space

The district is asking for a $700,000 levy to expand its grounds.

cmsewell@idahostatesman.comMay 16, 2014 

The Meridian Cemetery District is asking voters on May 20 to approve a levy to purchase land.

Today, the cemetery has about 6,000 burial sites available, enough for the next 30 to 40 years. The cemetery district says purchasing four adjacent acres will provide an additional 2,500 burial sites.

"We are landlocked. This is the last large piece of undeveloped ground around us," said Meridian Cemetery District Chairman Bob Hayes.

To acquire the parcel, the cemetery is asking voters within its district to approve a 10-year, $70,000 per-year levy for a total of $700,000. The levy needs two-thirds voter approval to pass.

Hayes said $700,000 is the estimated cost to purchase the land plus pay financing costs for 10 years. But it may not cost that much.

"It is a cart and horse deal," said Hayes. "We cannot negotiate with the property owner without the levy. Without negotiating, we don't know what number to come up with."

If the final cost is less than $700,000, the levy will stop when the land is paid off. The levy will cover purchasing the land only, not developing or maintaining it.

The Ada County Assessor's Office has assessed the adjacent undeveloped nine-acre parcel, owned by H.D. Fowler, at $169,900.

The cemetery district wants to purchase four of the acres; the company, a pipe supplier, will develop the remaining acres, Hayes said.

The levy would cost an additional $1.21 annually per $100,000 of a property's taxable value, the district said.

The cemetery's current levy costs property owners $4.14 annually per $100,000 of taxable value.

Only property owners who live within the Meridian Cemetery District will pay the levy. About 30,800 properties are within the district, which is roughly bounded by Chinden Boulevard, Cloverdale, Amity and McDermott roads.

View Meridian Cemetery eyes expansion in a larger map

Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell

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